Pynchon's California (New American Canon (Paperback)

The Iowa Series in Contemporary Literatu)

By Scott McClintock (Editor), John Miller (Editor)

University of Iowa Press, 9781609382735, 238pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2014



Pynchon's California is the first book to examine Thomas Pynchon's use of California as a setting in his novels. Throughout his 50-year career, Pynchon has regularly returned to the Golden State in his fiction. With the publication in 2009 of his third novel set there, the significance of California in Pynchon's evolving fictional project becomes increasingly worthy of study. Scott McClintock and John Miller have gathered essays from leading and up-and-coming Pynchon scholars who explore this topic from a variety of critical perspectives, reflecting the diversity and eclecticism of Pynchon's fiction and of the state that has served as his recurring muse from The Crying of Lot 49 (1965) through Inherent Vice (2009).

Contributors explore such topics as the relationship of the "California novels" to Pynchon's more historical and encyclopedic works; the significance of California's beaches, deserts, forests, freeways, and "hieroglyphic" suburban sprawl; the California-inspired noir tradition; and the surprising connections to be uncovered between drug use and realism, melodrama and real estate, private detection and the sacred. The authors bring insights to bear from an array of critical, social, and historical discourses, offering new ways of looking not only at Pynchon's California novels, but at his entire oeuvre. They explore both how the history, geography, and culture of California have informed Pynchon's work and how Pynchon's ever-skeptical critical eye has been turned on the state that has been, in many ways, the flagship for postmodern American culture.

CONTRIBUTORS: Hanjo Berressem, Christopher Coffman, Stephen Hock, Margaret Lynd, Scott MacLeod, Scott McClintock, Bill Millard, John Miller, Henry Veggian

About the Author

Scott McClintock is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at National University in San Bernardino. His research interests include literatures of the Americas, anti-terror discourse critique, the Indian novel in English, and Cold War cultural studies. He has published on Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Franz Kafka, Laureano Alban, and the culture of the Cold War. He lives in Big Bear City, California. John Miller is a professor of English at National University in Costa Mesa. His scholarly publications have dealt with a variety of topics, from the early modern prose of Francis Bacon, Robert Burton, and Izaak Walton to the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien and Thomas Pynchon, as well as the science fiction short story, hyperfiction and role playing games, and online pedagogy. He lives in Irvine, California.